Belfast Telegraph

Belfast woman's home 'attacked with wheelie bin', court told

The woman's home was allegedly attacked with a wheelie bin (Steve Parsons/PA)
The woman's home was allegedly attacked with a wheelie bin (Steve Parsons/PA)

By Alan Erwin

A woman's home was attacked with a wheelie bin on New Year's Eve, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed a 29-year-old man also threw a traffic cone through a window of her house in east Belfast.

John Francis McKinley is accused of targeting the property following an earlier alleged Christmas Day assault on another woman he was in a relationship with.

Details emerged as McKinley, a personal trainer from Queen Victoria Gardens in the city, was refused bail.

He denies charges of common assault and two counts of criminal damage in connection with the separate incidents.

Crown lawyer Johnny Connolly claimed McKinley "took exception to" a text one of the women received while they spent Christmas Day at her home in the Grove Street East area.

"He attempted to snap the phone in half, causing damage to the screen," counsel contended.

"He then punched the injured party in the face, causing bruising to her right eye."

According to Mr Connolly the home of another woman living on Grove Street East was then targeted on New Year's Eve.

"She said she looked out a window and saw John McKinley and another unknown male striking the front of her house with a wheelie bin," he told the court.

"The defendant was then observed lifting a traffic cone and throwing it against the living room window, causing it to smash."

McKinley was arrested on January 3 and denied attacking the property by claiming he was with the first alleged victim at the time.

Defence barrister Sean O'Hare said his client now wants nothing more to do with her, describing their association as "toxic".

Mr O'Hare added: "He's anxious to get 2019 and the unfortunate relationship he started put behind him."

Denying bail, however, Mr Justice Maguire said: "Domestic abuse is an area... where the court will take a strong position vis-a-vis those alleged to have committed it."

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